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‘Unsafe’ GP Practice closed down by Care Quality Commission

Central Nottinghamshire Clinical Services, which provided GP services at Kirkby Community Primary Care Centre, has had its registration varied by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), forcing it to close down the inadequate GP practice that was being run by the organisation.

The surgery in Kirkby-in-Ashfield was told it was no longer able to offer care to the public after an unannounced inspection found the health and wellbeing of its patients was being put at risk.

The failings have been described by Janet Williamson, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice and Dentistry at the CQC as “completely unacceptable.” It was found that:

“The service was placing patients at significant risk of receiving inappropriate or unsafe care and made no attempt to address the issues we identified. For this reason we had no option but to cancel the registration.”

Amongst the failings, Inspectors found:

  • Widespread errors with the accuracy of clinically coding health records, which led to missed opportunities for health screenings.
  • Some patients received medicines without any monitoring of their health.
  • Children were at risk of unsafe care because of the centre's worsening performance in administering childhood vaccinations.

NHS England and Mansfield and Ashfield CCG have put in place temporary arrangements for all patients concerned in the interim in order to ensure that patients still have access to GP services at the surgery and ensure the “minimum disruption” to patients.

Potential Dangers

The failures noted above can lead to a number of serious consequences for patients. Missing regular health screening appointments can lead to missed opportunities to diagnose and treat cancer. As discussed in a recent blog, the national cancer screening programmes available to the public aim to both prevent and detect cancer.

Missed opportunities for detecting precursors of conditions such as breast cancer and cervical cancer mean that patients at the surgery may have missed the chance to have a serious condition diagnosed earlier and therefore increase their chances of a successful recovery.

As identified above, patients had been put at significant risk after receiving medication without any monitoring of their health. This can be dangerous, for example where potent medications such Warfarin are concerned. This is a drug used to prevent blood clots and if taken incorrectly, can increase the risk of dangerous bleeding. A person taking Warfarin is at an even higher risk of bleeding problems if they have:

  • High blood pressure
  • History of stroke
  • Kidney problems
  • Cancer
  • Liver disease
  • Alcoholism 

It is therefore important that patients on medication such as this have their general state of health monitored regularly.

Despite the practice being rated as “inadequate” following its first inspection in May, there were still serious concerns noted in the follow up inspection on 30 September, and Central Nottinghamshire Clinical Services were barred from providing GP services there from 2 October 2015.

The fact that the investigation identified a number of errors as opposed to an isolated error indicates that there was a systematic problem with the way in which the GP surgery was being run and the procedures it had in place, rather than the problems being due to human error. It is hoped that standards will improve following the expected involvement of an alternative provider in the near future.

If you feel your doctor was negligent in dealing with you, call our medical negligence solicitors about a GP negligence claim on freephone 0800 916 9049 or alternatively contact us online and we will call you.


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